Opening an Attached Word File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 20, 2010)

Subscriber Ed Kostyk had a problem when using Word with Netscape 4.75. Whenever he would try to open a Word document attached to an e-mail (from within Netscape), he would get the message "Unable to launch application. The application was not found." However, if he first saved the attachment to a disk file, then he could double-click on the saved file and the document would open in Word with no problem.

This appears to be a problem with Netscape, not with Word or with Windows. You will want to check your settings in Netscape. Follow these general steps in Netscape:

  1. Choose the Preferences option from the Edit menu. Netscape displays the Preferences dialog box.
  2. In the Category list, click on the plus sign to the left of Navigator, then click Applications. The right side of the dialog box should change to show you a list of application mapping options.
  3. Scroll through the applications list until you find the entry used for Microsoft Word documents. Depending on your version of Netscape and your version of Word, this entry could be named many different things, such as Word Documents, Microsoft Word Documents, or even WINWORD File. Once you find the entry, select it.
  4. Click Edit. You should now see what program Netscape believes should be run when you try to open a Word document.
  5. Examine the program name shown to make sure it is the correct program name and full path to your Winword.exe file.
  6. If necessary, click on Browse and use the controls to locate Winword.exe.
  7. When completed, click on OK.

If the above steps don't work (and you double-check your settings), then you may have a problem with Windows. If the documents open fine in another e-mail program, such as Outlook Express, then you know it is a problem with Netscape. If the files don't open correctly with other e-mail programs, then you may need to remove and reinstall Word to make sure it is registered properly with your operating system.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1364) applies to Microsoft Word , , , , and .

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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